The Lakers were back in action tonight for their second game of the 2012 Summer League. After an embarrassing loss to the Golden State Warriors on Friday night, L.A. was looking to redeem themselves on Saturday against the Sacramento Kings. The Kings also suffered a rather embarrassing loss on Friday, falling by double digits to the Charlotte Bobcats.
The Lakers instantly looked better than they did last night, hanging with the Kings for the duration of the first period. Since the quarters are two minutes shorter in Summer League than they are during the regular season, the first 10 minutes were highly contested. The Lakers saw some very positive things from second-year guard Darius Morris, who struggled on Friday. He was able to limit his turnovers in the first quarter, something he was unable to do in the first game.
Another bright spot for Los Angeles was Chinemelu Elonu. A new addition to the team, Elonu scored six of the team’s first 12 points, and led all scorers at the end of the first period. He also pulled down two rebounds in the first quarter, which tied him for second on the team. At the end of the first quarter the Lakers were still trailing the Kings, however, 15-12.
Los Angeles picked things up in the second quarter, outscoring the Kings 25-21 in the period. Morris scored seven points in the quarter, and Christian Eyenga added six of his own. Another bright spot was rookie Robert Sacre. The big man out of Gonzaga scored five points in the quarter on 2-4 shooting. He was also a disruptive force on defense.
We also saw our first glimpse of Greg Somogyi, the big man out of UC Santa Barbara. The former Gaucho stepped in and blocked two big shots, showcasing his size to the Lakers brass. The second period was easily the best quarter of the young exhibition season so far for the Lakers, and it allowed them to enter halftime leading the Kings 37-36.
After leading at the half the Lakers began to fall back a bit in the third. The Kings turned up the offensive intensity and began to hit more of their outside shots. The Lakers didn’t have much of an answer for them on their own offensive end, as they settled for too many jump shots and isolation attempts. Young Thomas Robinson had a big impact for the Kings, scoring 13 points through three quarters.
The biggest story for Sacramento was guard Josh Akognon, who scored 19 points on 8-12 shooting, including 3-5 from downtown. His hot shooting allowed the Kings to retake the lead by the end of the third period, and put them on track to get their first victory of the week. At the end of three the Kings were leading the Lakers 62-57.
In the final period things got out of hand for the Lakers. After leading at halftime they fell behind again in the third and saw the Kings’ lead balloon in the fourth. Sacramento outscored the Lakers 22-15 in the fourth, and finished the game with a double-digit win. Morris led the way for the Lakers in scoring with 17 points, while Sacre pulled down 10 rebounds and dished out two assists, both team highs.
While the team didn’t get the result they were hoping for tonight, they will have time to regroup in practice tomorrow. With the team off on Sunday, they will have plenty of time to prepare for their game on Monday night against the defending NBA champion Miami Heat.